Help Wanted: Healthcare Editor. Who’s writing your marketing material?

Some people in my house turned 50 years old last year.  Their first birthday present was an introduction/application to join AARP.  For just $16 per year, you become eligible to receive all sorts of discounts, exclusive memberships and the like.  But the biggest advantage, in my opinion, is the fact your spouse is automatically enrolled in the program with you, no matter what his/her age.  So yep, I included my name and I received my own AARP card in the mail about a week later!  A few weeks after that we received our big package with all the red carpet benefits of being a member of AARP.

But for me, the most exciting benefit was the AARP Bulletin we received in the mail last night.  Its design reminds me of a newspaper, about 11”x11” in size, and the tag line read “YOUR HEALTH-YOUR MONEY-YOUR WORLD.”  Nice!  Unfortunately, the size of the newspaper ended up being the best attribute I could find.  I was unimpressed with everything else.   The paper’s weight was so thin you could see the printed items from the opposite page.  But the biggest disappointment by far was the content.  In 43 pages it didn’t include anything related to YOUR HEALTH.  No education on how to recognize heart disease or how to maintain your quality of life with heart disease.  No target numbers for managing high cholesterol or diabetes.  Not even a blurb on why diet and exercise are important in your later years.  

All this made me wonder, who actually writes and edits this magazine or ‘bulletin’ anyway?  Are the writers employed by AARP?  If they are contracted or outsourced, are they experienced in the healthcare industry?  Did the editor really miss an entire mission of the ‘bulletin’ by omitting the section on YOUR HEALTH?  

Perhaps if they had more advertisers they might have the resources to make it a better publication.  Which leads me to my next question…since most of AARP readers are probably on some medication, why aren’t pharmaceutical companies or health plans providing patient education or at least advertising to support it?  Not even a small ad stating why it’s important to remain compliant on your medication?  And what about hospitals?  Since life data suggests AARP subscribers will probably be patients at some point, you would think hospitals would want to build a relationship with future patients.

But, to their credit, there was an ad explaining how to reduce your motorcycle insurance.  I may have to check that out.  And if you’re age 50 or older and ride a motorcycle, according to AARP you should check it out too, for YOUR MONEY!


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